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States can have sub-groups among SC/ST

  • IASbaba
  • August 29, 2020
  • 0
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States can have sub-groups among SC/ST

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-II – Welfare schemes

In News:

  • Recently, the Supreme Court held that States can sub-classify Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in the Central List.

Key takeaways from Justice Arun Mishra’s judgement:

  • Reservation has created inequalities within the reserved castes itself. 
  • Benefits of reservation are being used by a few.
  • Caste, occupation, and poverty are interwoven. 
  • The State cannot be deprived of the power to take care of the qualitative and quantitative differences between different classes.
  • ST and SC in the Central List do not constitute a homogenous group.

Do you know?

  • The judgment is significant as it will provide the push to extend the creamy layer concept to the SC and ST.
  • In 2004, the Chinnaiah judgment had held that allowing the States to unilaterally make a class within a class of members of the SC would lead to changes in the Presidential list.
  • The issue has now been referred to a seven-judge Bench of the court.

Important value additions 

  • The Central List of SC and ST are notified by the President under Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution. 
  • The consent of the Parliament is required to exclude or include castes in the List. 
  • Thus, States cannot unilaterally add or pull out castes from the List.
  • The Supreme Court has reasoned that sub-classifications within the Presidential/Central List do not amount to changing it. No caste is excluded from the list.

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